The Pirbright Institute joined the Outreach Network in June. Their team is adding to the diversity of research groups looking into possible applications of gene drive approaches to tackle vector-borne diseases. This important work, focused on the mosquitoes that transmit viruses responsible for dengue, Zika and West Nile, will complement other efforts focused on malaria.

Pirbright’s Arthropod Genetics group, led by Professor Luke Alphey, is using gene drive to create proof-of-concept tools with the ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating mosquito-borne diseases. The group are primarily working with Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, which spread diseases of the flavivirus family.